July 26, 2018 11:00
A lot of safety devices are obvious and well known: smoke alarms, airbags and seatbelts, to name a few. We know what they do, and trust that they’ll do their job when the time comes.
However, there are a lot of safety devices out there that aren’t as obvious. They are often hidden, and even if an incident occurs there’s a good chance you’d never even know they helped save your life.
Passive fire protection, particularly intumescent fire seals and intumescent strips, fall firmly into this category.
Intumescent seals are small strips that generally sit in a groove around a doorway, either in the frame or the door itself. They are made of complex materials that will expand many times their size in the event of a fire, sealing the gap between the door and frame and preventing fire spreading from room to room. Whilst you’ve probably passed by these silent protectors a thousand times or more, it’s unlikely you’ve ever realised they are there.
They are fitted everyday and thankfully most of the time are never used for their primary intended purpose… fire protection, for example some intumescent smoke seals are protecting day to day against acoustics and the environment.
Your local fire service is dedicated to making your city/town a safe place to live, work and visit. This includes protecting people from fire and helping to prevent fire related injuries and deaths. Whilst they don’t get a lot of credit, correctly fitted intumescent seals help your local fire service with its aim.
Without intumescent strips fire doors become ineffective. They struggle to hold back the fire and unfortunately, fire doors without intumescent strips or seals will not contain a fire for their rated length of time. This is also true for fire doors with damaged intumescent strips or seals. When a fire door is ineffective, this means less time for escape and less time for the fire service to rescue anyone trapped by fire.
It’s important to regularly check the intumescent seals and strips in your building, to make sure they’re up to the job. If you are unsure seek the professional services of a fire door inspector, an inspector can check the fire seals and all other aspects of your fire doors too, including the door itself, ironmongery protection, signage and more. Knowing your fire doors are up to the job certainly gives peace of mind, knowing you have protection should the worst happen.
These silent protectors are simple and brilliantly effective.
If you’ve never given a thought to intumescent strips before and would like to learn more, why not give us a call? We can talk you through everything you need to know, from where you should have intumescent seals fitted, to what type you need and even help you find someone to fit them.